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Good food in unlikely places

b
bite bite Mar 5, 2007 02:27 PM

Some of my tastiest meals have come in the most surprizing places. Some months back stopped in at ZenZoo in Brentwood with a friend who is crazy for their tea. I am not a fan -- way too sweet for me even when I've had them cut the sweetener in half. But was hungry so went ahead and ordered lunch. Was not expecting much and was shocked at how good the meal was. Lightly steamed very fresh fish (cod I think) with a delecate ginger flavor and perfectly-cooked sticky rice. Simple but surprizingly delicious and memorable esp because food is such an afterthought here (just a couple small tables in back) with the sickly sweet tea being the star of the show . No doubt lower expectations added to this simple meal's big impact but think it could hold its own even without the shock value. Would love to hear if anyone else has had an experiennce like this.

  1. westsidegal Mar 5, 2007 03:07 PM

    good falafal sandwich at the hole-in-the-wall HUNGRY POCKET across the st. from santa monica college. also, their homemade picante sauce is supurb!!

    1. g
      glutton Mar 5, 2007 03:55 PM

      The Dal Rae in Pico Rivera. You'll see wide praise for the Dal Rae on this board, which you would not expect in Pico Rivera, but it really is a first class meal.

      1 Reply
      1. re: glutton
        o
        Oh Robin Mar 6, 2007 01:25 PM

        AMEN! Get the sea bass.

      2. b
        bite bite Mar 6, 2007 02:26 PM

        Thanks to Mike_91605 for reminding me other another surprizingly good restaurant experience -- Gindi Thai in Burbank/Taluca Lake. Must confess that much of the surprize comes from my extremely limited Thai-in-LA experiences. Have had wonderful home-cooked Thai meals -- but restaurant experience has begun and ended with Chan Dara where almost everything I've ordered tastes like it's been sitting in metal serving trays all day and had a lot of extra sugar thrown in to make up for it. Anyway my lunch at Gindi Thai was delicious and fresh -- a melting mellow-sweet egg-plant curry with soft, fluffy brown rice and a tasty crispy roll of some sort. The clean, flowing space was also v. pleasant.

        1. SauceSupreme Mar 6, 2007 02:46 PM

          Does the Wat Thai temple count?

          4 Replies
          1. re: SauceSupreme
            wilafur Mar 6, 2007 02:51 PM

            it better! =)

            1. re: SauceSupreme
              b
              bite bite Mar 6, 2007 02:57 PM

              Of course and wow! Never heard of it before but just did a search on the board and it sounds AMAZING. Thanks for making me aware of its existance. Excited to visit in person.

              1. re: bite bite
                b
                bite bite Mar 11, 2007 03:15 PM

                Okay, well, having just visited in person, have to say that Wat Thai seems more like "okay, relatively edable food in an interesting setting" than "good food in an unlikely place". Guess I was thinking more along the lines of say a particular McDonalds that prepares its fish fillet or whatever it in a unique and delicious fashion that you would never expect from a McDonalds. Or a delcious restaurant in the middle of a land-fill site. Stuff along those lines. That said, appreciate the mention of Wat Thai anyway because it was a fun outing and will probably go back just for the atmosphere.

                1. re: bite bite
                  j
                  justagthing Mar 11, 2007 10:03 PM

                  went there for my first time myself as well. I found that some of the verndors were better than others. for instance, there were 2 places that did the satays, we tasted items from both and like the one that set up on the left better.

            2. a
              applepie Mar 6, 2007 07:57 PM

              I also had a similar experience with Zen Zoo in Hollywood. We waited over an hour and a half for a table at Hungry Cat and just before I was going to fall over and die, we ended up at Zen Zoo for some tasty steamed bunds and dumplings and a killer molten chocolate cake. I'm still dreaming of that.

              I also had surprisingly tasty chicken tacos at Pantry's Pizza on La Cienega near the 10. The pizza is really good for a little divey palce, but their tacos and salsa are great!

              1 Reply
              1. re: applepie
                b
                bite bite Mar 7, 2007 10:47 AM

                Zen Zoo next to HC? Fantastic! I've eaten at HC way too many times esp. considering how it exasperates me. Zen Zoo Hollywood here I come!

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